|Tales of the Unexpected|
|Created by||Roald Dahl|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||9|
|No. of episodes||112 (list)|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Picture format||576i 4:3 (SDTV)|
|Original release||24 March 1979 –|
13 May 1988
Tales of the Unexpected (Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected) is a British television series that aired between 1979 and 1988.Each episode told a story, often with sinister and wryly comedic undertones, with an unexpected twist ending. Every episode of series one, eight episodes of series two, and one episode of series three were based on short stories by Roald Dahl collected in the books Tales of the Unexpected , Kiss Kiss , and Someone Like You .
The series was made by Anglia Television for ITV with interior scenes recorded at their Norwich studios, whilst location filming mainly occurred across East Anglia. The theme music for the series was written by composer Ron Grainer.
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The series originally adapted various stories from Roald Dahl's anthology books. Despite being produced on a low budget, the series attracted notable guest stars, including Susan George, Siân Phillips, José Ferrer, Joseph Cotten, Janet Leigh, John Gielgud, John Mills, Wendy Hiller, Denholm Elliott, Katy Jurado, Joan Collins, Rod Taylor, Ian Holm, Brian Blessed, Siobhán McKenna, Michael Gambon, Cyril Cusack, Julie Harris, Michael Hordern, Derek Jacobi, Anna Neagle, Elaine Stritch, Andrew Ray, Harry H. Corbett, Zoë Wanamaker, Charles Dance and Timothy West.
Dahl introduced most of his own stories himself, giving short monologues explaining what inspired him to write them. Unlike other horror anthologies such as The Twilight Zone , Tales of the Unexpected features few supernatural, science-fiction, or fantasy elements and instead takes place in entirely realistic settings. (Exceptions include the series-one episode "William and Mary”, the series-two episode “Royal Jelly”, and the series-four episode "The Sound Machine”.)
Although many of Dahl's stories are left open to the reader's interpretation, the television series usually provided a generally accepted conclusion. This is exemplified in the story "The Landlady", the written version of which only hints at character Billy's fate, while the televised adaptation has a more resolved conclusion.
Later episodes were set in different locations outside the United Kingdom, with many being made in the United States.
The second series featured four episodes from other writers. The title reflected this change when it became Tales of the Unexpected – Introduced by Roald Dahl – Dahl ceased providing introductions for episodes after the programme had reached series three. The series-three episode "Parson's Pleasure" was the final regular episode to feature an on-screen introduction by Dahl, although he did return to provide introductions to the series-eight episodes "In the Cards" and "Nothing' Short of Highway Robbery" and gave a brief voiceover introduction to the series-four episode "Shatterproof". The third and fourth series featured two episodes apiece adapted from Dahl stories, and a fifth, titled "The Surgeon", featured in the final series in 1988.
Dahl had hosted a similar series for the American CBS network called Way Out in 1961.It was similar in concept and themes to The Twilight Zone, and ran for 14 episodes on Friday nights (as the lead-in for The Twilight Zone). It used some stories that would later be adapted for Tales of the Unexpected.
The Twilight Zone is an American media franchise based on the anthology television series created by Rod Serling. The episodes are in various genres, including fantasy, science fiction, suspense, horror, and psychological thriller, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist, and usually with a moral. A popular and critical success, it introduced many Americans to common science fiction and fantasy tropes. The original series, shot entirely in black and white, ran on CBS for five seasons from 1959 to 1964.
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.
Skeleton Crew is a collection of short fiction by American writer Stephen King, published by Putnam in June 1985. A limited edition of a thousand copies was published by Scream/Press in October 1985 (ISBN 978-0910489126), illustrated by J. K. Potter, containing an additional short story, "The Revelations of Becka Paulson", which had originally appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, and was later incorporated into King's 1987 novel The Tommyknockers. The original title of this book was Night Moves.
Roald Dahl short stories bibliography is a comprehensive annotated list of short stories written by Roald Dahl.
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created and presented by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. Each episode presents a stand-alone story in which characters find themselves dealing with often disturbing or unusual events, an experience described as entering "the Twilight Zone," often with a surprise ending and a moral. Although predominantly science-fiction, the show's paranormal and Kafkaesque events leaned the show towards fantasy and horror. The phrase “twilight zone,” inspired by the series, is used to describe surreal experiences.
"The Landlady" is a short horror story by Roald Dahl. It initially appeared in The New Yorker, as did other short stories that would later be reprinted in the 1960 anthology, Kiss Kiss.
"Genesis and Catastrophe: A True Story" is a short story written by Roald Dahl first published in Playboy magazine and included in his book Kiss Kiss (1960). It is a fictionalized account based upon a true historical incident. It is also known as A Fine Son.
Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected is a collection of sixteen short stories written by British author Roald Dahl and first published in 1979. All of the stories were earlier published in various magazines, and then in the collections Someone Like You and Kiss Kiss.
"Lamb to the Slaughter" (1953) is a short story by Roald Dahl. It was initially rejected, along with four other stories, by The New Yorker, but was published in Harper's Magazine in September 1953. It was adapted for an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents that starred Barbara Bel Geddes and Harold J. Stone. Originally broadcast on April 13, 1958, this was one of only 17 AHP episodes directed by Hitchcock. The episode was ranked #59 of the Top 100 Episodes by TV Guide in 2009. The story was adapted for Dahl's British TV series Tales of the Unexpected. Dahl included it in his short story compilation Someone Like You. The narrative element of the housewife killing her husband and letting the policemen partake in eating the evidence was used by Pedro Almodóvar in his 1984 movie What Have I Done to Deserve This?, with a leg of mutton.
Thriller is a British television series, originally broadcast in the UK from 1973 to 1976. It is an anthology series: each episode has a self-contained story and its own cast. As the title suggests, each story is a thriller of some variety, from tales of the supernatural to down-to-earth whodunits.
Roald Dahl: Collected Stories is a hardcover edition of short-stories by Roald Dahl for adults. It was published in the US in October 2006 by Random House as part of the Everyman Library. The present volume includes for the first time all the stories in chronological order as established by Dahl's biographer, Jeremy Treglown, in consultation with the Dahl estate. A few of the short stories were not published chronologically in book form, but appeared later, collected in More Tales of the Unexpected (1980). The collection contains all of the short stories published in the following collections:
More Tales of the Unexpected is a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl. It was published in 1980 by Penguin. Some of the stories were published in prior collections, but this is the first time the others were published in book form.
'Way Out is a 1961 American horror, fantasy, and science fiction television anthology series hosted by writer Roald Dahl. The macabre black-and-white 25-minute shows were introduced by Dahl, his face projected in a disconcerting hall of mirrors effect, dryly delivering a brief introductory monologue, expounding on such unusual subjects as undertakers or frogs or murdering a romantic rival with ground tiger's whiskers.
A Ghost Story for Christmas is a strand of annual British short television films originally broadcast on BBC One between 1971 and 1978, and revived in 2005 on BBC Four. With one exception, the original instalments were directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark and the films were all shot on 16 mm colour film. The remit behind the series was to provide a television adaptation of a classic ghost story, in line with the oral tradition of telling supernatural tales at Christmas.
Suspense is an American television anthology series that ran on CBS Television from 1949 to 1954. It was adapted from the radio program of the same name which ran from 1942 to 1962.
Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary is a collection of short stories written by various authors and edited by Carol Serling, the widow of series creator Rod Serling. Each story was written with themes or styles similar to The Twilight Zone episodes, including narrated introductions and conclusions to each story. Authors who contributed a story include Twilight Zone veteran Earl Hamner, Alan Brennert and William F. Wu, and a previously unpublished story by Rod Serling. Reviewers listed some of the better stories as being Kelley Armstrong's "A Haunted House of Her Own", Alan Brennert's "Puowaina" and Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn's "Benchwarmer".
The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl is a 1991 short story collection for adults by Roald Dahl. The collection containing tales of macabre malevolence comprises many of Dahl's stories seen in the television series Tales of the Unexpected and previously collected in Someone Like You (1953), Kiss, Kiss (1960), Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl (1969), Switch Bitch (1974), and Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl (1989).
"Royal Jelly" is a short horror story by Roald Dahl. It was included in Dahl's 1960 collection Kiss Kiss and his 1979 collection Tales of the Unexpected, and later published as a standalone volume in 2011 and included in the February 1983 issue of Twilight Zone Magazine.
Theatre Royal, aka Lilli Palmer Theatre is an Anglo/American half-hour television anthology series hosted by Lilli Palmer. It was the first ITV play series; and was first transmitted on 25 September 1955, with the televised Dickens episode, Bardell v Pickwick. Thirty-four episodes aired in the UK on ATV London in 1955–56. Fourteen episodes aired in the US from 1955–56.
"The Bookseller" is a short story by British writer Roald Dahl. It was first published in the January 1987 issue of Playboy.